Taking on the Budget

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Governor Paterson laid out his state budget proposal yesterday. Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, Robert Gangi, executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party, and Brendan I. Koerner, contributing editor at Wired, respond to the Governor's budget.


Dan Cantor, Robert Gangi, Brendan I. Koerner, Randi Weingarten and Kathryn Wylde

Comments [25]

Amy from Manhattan

The tax on bottled drinks shouldn't have an exemption for bottled water either. Buying bottled water is wasteful, & all those plastic bottles are bad for the environment. Maybe there could be an exception for locations where the public water supply isn't as healthy as here in NYC. At the least, bottled noncarbonated drinks should be added to the deposit/return law.

(Let's see if this posts this time--it wouldn't this morning.)

Dec. 18 2008 01:39 AM
Paulson from Wall Street

The State of New York "employs" 263,000 people. Does the gov. think that cuts of 5,000 jobs (1.9%) by attrition alone is sufficient? Is he blind?

Dec. 17 2008 12:48 PM
jennifer from manhattan

michaelw above, I heartily disagree. I think David Paterson is the only responsible politician in the state at the moment. The rest of them are just sitting on their hands, waiting for him to come up with a plan so they can criticize it to please their constituents. I am truly surprised at how proactive he has been in addressing this crisis and I feel lucky to have him as governor. I am also sad because even though I think he is doing an admirable job, I know everyone will criticize him and feel as you do come the next election.

Dec. 17 2008 12:28 PM
hjs from 11211

voter an unjust law is no law

why to u want to pay to keep someone in jail because he wants use a chemical substance in order to experience "perceived beneficial effects on perception, consciousness, personality, and behavior"

Dec. 17 2008 11:05 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

Governor Paterson has got to go.

He will never get my vote.

His tax proposals are an outrage.

Tax liquor and cigerettes I don't care tax them all you want.

I can't wait for him to be run out of office on a rail.

Dec. 17 2008 11:03 AM
AM from Manhattan

The problem with the criteria for the taxing of sodas is not only establishing the non taxed as "healthy" or more acceptable but letting the giant food industries get away with their Frankenstein take on artificial anything, especially ASPARTAME on "diet" products!!! The whole concept of "diet" -something is flawed. Patterson could/should be much better advised on this to make a real economic statement and accomplishment with much deeper implications beyond "budget"...

Please consult habituals on your programs on this as Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan

Dec. 17 2008 10:58 AM
sophie from manhattan

Fizzie Lizzie tastes great, but it's still proportionally loaded with sugar. I don't care what the calorie content is.

So is straight juice. Another drink loaded with SUGAR!!

Dec. 17 2008 10:54 AM
Sue from Brooklyn

I'm middle class, and I will move. To somewhere where, if I have to pay high taxes on everything I touch, I am at least getting something in return for it. To somewhere where, if I pay higher and higher transit fees, I'm getting better service levels, not endless delays that can turn a 25 minute trip into an hourlong marathon. Etcetera. I'm fortunate -- I'm middle class and I CAN move. It's those who have no extra income whatsoever who will be making the hardest choices and will have the fewest options.

The iTunes level stuff is just nickle- and dime-type irritation. (Let's face it, if you can afford an iPod, that means you also have a PC and aren't exactly a candidate for a soup kitchen line.) But it all adds up, and it's a bit counterproductive. If it stops people spending (not over-spending and racking up credit card debt, but spending), then this is a foolish strategy on Paterson's part. We will have to pay 25% more for MTA transportation, and that adds up to $25 or $30 a month that isn't available to buy something else -- a book, a movie, a lunch out, etc. Cumulatively, that adds up.
What worries me most right now is that this budget doesn't seem to be on the same page as Obama's plans, which revolve around stimulus. If every state followed Paterson's lead, any federal stimulus plan will be offset almost immediately by this kind of taxation.

Dec. 17 2008 10:53 AM
Chris from Brooklyn

What's the verdict on Seltzer? It's not labled "diet," but it's pretty much calorie free. Is it considered soda?

Dec. 17 2008 10:48 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

FIZZIE LIZZIE drinks are great!!!!!

Dec. 17 2008 10:46 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

So Newman was making sense...let him talk

Dec. 17 2008 10:44 AM
Edward from NJ

iTunes Tax...

1) Here in NJ, I already pay tax on iTunes.

2) There are Apple stores in NY so there's certainly a nexus for Apple to collect taxes.

3) Yes Brian, your podcast will be taxed. Users will pay 8.25% of $0.00. Outrageous! :)

Dec. 17 2008 10:43 AM
gina from lowerwestchester

the only people who will be moving are the middle class. $250,000 does not buy too much around here, with taxes in the high teens to mid twenties and now if one finally gets a little cushion,let's tax it. the people who will be hurt are the ones who may get a bonus to bring them to that number and boom NY takes it away. so take away my school aid, increase the crazy westchester taxes ( can we have anymore levels of govt?), increase my clothing taxes and keep thinking that $250,000 is a wealthly number for family w/ 2 kids in grammar school, high taxes , commuting fees, etc. Who will move, the middle class!

Dec. 17 2008 10:43 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Am I the only person sick of hearing drug addicts, drug addict politicians, and possibly drug addicted community leaders and political appointees whine over Rockefeller drug laws. If you don’t want to go to jail on a drug offense (the consequences of which we all know), don’t do drugs.
And for Ms. Wylde’s fear-mongering assertion the only precedent is the Great Depression, I’ll believe her when I see a bread line.

Dec. 17 2008 10:42 AM
Paul from Upper West Side

Yesterday, I wrote a $300. check for the (free) Public School my two children attend, contributing to a PTA fund drive to save cultural education programs. Without charity, these programs will fall victim to the last round of budget cuts imposed on the schools. Paterson has nerve suggesting that the working and middle classes of this state have had it easy the last decade, that they have not been sacrificing all along. Public schools have long depended on parent's contributions of labor, time, and money due to inadequate government funding. We make this contribution on top of struggling in an economy in which we face declining wages and have lost benefits, affordable health insurance, pensions - as labor law was ignored and we became 'project workers' to improve conditions for business; in which we pay impossible rents, having lost rent control - to enrich real estate interests. In fact, our sacrifices helped the political and business leaders create this economic debacle - it is no wonder that the population has lived on credit.

Dec. 17 2008 10:41 AM
HC from nyc

It is those miillion/billion-aires, those ceo's and their absurdly inflated bonuses that drive up the cost of living in new york that in turn requires higher pay for transit workers and teachers, laborers, professors, artists etc. It is time that our society is restructured and not made so completely reliant on the drive of greed in one enormous confidence game that relies on only the most insipid and unimaginative skills. Unfortunately this crash is not just effecting the class which brought it upon us. That is the only tragedy here.

Dec. 17 2008 10:33 AM
sheila from washington heights

Government employees always vote themselves benefits that taxpayers can only dream of.

This imbalance has to be redressed at all government levels (city, state, federal).

It's grossly unfair and very costly.

As for the point that the rich will flee NYC if taxes go up, I'd say look at Switzerland. In addition to a progressive tax system, they also tax capital, i.e., about 0.5% of assets.

The rich are not fleeing.

Dec. 17 2008 10:31 AM
Perry from New York

To Robert, yes, it would be terrible if the only major source of economic growth and the ultimate source of employment in the city left. Perhaps you're allowing a class warfare mentality to get in the way of thinking rationally about the city's economy.

The financial industry has been the main underlying source of income in the city for decades now. If you want to intentionally drive them out, then please tell us what will replace the billions of dollars in revenue that those firms bring.

Dec. 17 2008 10:23 AM
Eric Scorzelli from Bronx,NY

I moved once and I will do it again. I came back to the city three years ago and I took on the sacrafice of additioonal taxes to enjoy all the city has to offer.
All of those things are available to all our citizens and if Mr. Cantor is willing to set up a plan where every citizen pays a little more thaen sign me up. If the plan is to only touch my wallet then I will be listening to you via webcast from Yardley PA.

Dec. 17 2008 10:20 AM

Gosh, wouldn't that be terrible if all the hedge funds destroying our economy moved out of the city? Who would steal our money?

Dec. 17 2008 10:19 AM
Jon Young from Staten Island

Mr. C(K)antor is incorrect in claiming the state tax is equal for all those whose state adjusted gross income over $40,000 is the same. The tax rate is progressive to that point and is consistent until income exceeds $100,000 then it sort of flattens out at the top rate and is not as progressive. Therefore, higher earners do pay a higher tax rate.

Dec. 17 2008 10:19 AM
Adam M from New York, NY

We already heard this debate between John McCain and Barak Obama and New Yorkers Voted Overwhelmingly for Obama's plan to raise taxes on the top earners and invest in infrastructure as opposed to cutting out basic services.

Dec. 17 2008 10:17 AM
Perry from New York

Dan Cantor is crazy when he says people won't move.

I've worked in the hedge fund industry for a couple of decades. Most of the richest hedge funds and their managers moved to Greenwich years ago specifically because of taxes. I know lots of really rich people, and they talk about moving because of taxes all the time. These people aren't stupid, and they have the funds to move wherever they want when they like.

If Cantor really things people won't move, then clearly he's got no sense of reality.

Dec. 17 2008 10:16 AM
Alex from NYC

The governor Increased Food Bank Funding. Increased funding to food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters by $4.4 million to address growing needs in these difficult times. These safety-net providers are experiencing an unprecedented increase in requests for nutrition assistance, especially from individuals and families that have never before needed such assistance
This is only ceremonial!
There are a couple of thousand soup kitchens and emergency shelters in NY. So what amount will each get?
I run a soup kitchen I will post a comment here when the call me with an additional check.

Dec. 17 2008 10:14 AM
John D from Nanuet

When will the government step up to the plate and start cutting staff. This is one of the ways private industry does it. but all government can do is cut our services.

Dec. 17 2008 10:11 AM

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